I'm creating my project in Microsoft Project.

What is important to me is who is accountable for a task. For instance, there are 3 tasks that I'm 100% accountable for; 2 tasks that myself and my colleague are 50% responsible.

If I assign accountable people as resources it doesn't work as I expected. Let me explain:

There are 3 tasks for me and I have to finish them within 2 days so all have same start and finish dates. They take not more than 2 hours to execute. If I assign myself as the resource of them with 100% unit, I get "This task has overallocated resources" warning.

In real world people work on several tasks per day.

I've looked into all fields and didn't find anything.

How to implement that?

  • 1
    What do you mean, exactly, by 'accountable'? What will you use that information for?
    – Sarov
    Oct 7, 2021 at 13:22
  • @MCW I updated my question. Oct 7, 2021 at 14:42
  • @Sarov The accountable person is the one who is responsible to get the task done. In my project, the CEO is accountable to execute some tasks (and has to answer to stakeholders if it is delayed), but he's not the one who is doing the actual work. This is a pretty straightforward concept in project management. Oct 7, 2021 at 14:45
  • 'Accountable' and 'responsible' are synonyms. What exactly do you mean by 'accountable/responsible'? What will you use that information for?
    – Sarov
    Oct 7, 2021 at 16:26
  • @sarov In English maybe, but in project management the accountable is usually the head of department who is responsible to track the task inside his unit and report to stakeholders. The responsible is the engineer doing the job. Oct 9, 2021 at 8:28

2 Answers 2


The schedule is not the appropriate tool in which to label employees as to the degree or type of relationship they have with a work package. The tool to do that is the RAM (Resource Allocation Matrix), and there are several coding schemes from which to choose: RACI, PARIS, MOCHA, etc. The resource attribute is where you load either roles or individuals and the work attribute is where you load your planned hours for each work package. Then, you can use the resource view to spread those hours across each resource based on the degree of utilization you are planning for said resource. You can fix there any "over-allocation" you see in the plan.

EDIT: @MCW, regarding the RAM codes, I found these in multiple sources over time, some from just searching online and others from individuals with whom I worked or who authored something in whatever forum. Then I simply loaded them into a RAM template I use for work. Here are the ones I typically use or suggest using for different clients:

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I never heard of RAD before. I wouldn't mind adding it to my list.

  • Do you have links for RACI, PARIS, MOCHA, etc? Sounds interesting, but a quick web search only found RAD & RAPID Actually looks like the best link is Wikipeda:RAM Can't find MOCHA at all. Very useful info
    – MCW
    Oct 7, 2021 at 17:53
  • 1
    My favorite to use is PARIS. I find most clients or other stakeholders seem to like that one, too. Oct 7, 2021 at 18:14

I highly recommend using the Contact (or a custom text or Outline Code) field to represent the task owner rather than making individuals resources in your resource sheet. Resources are better as functions or roles rather than individuals (i.e. Software Engineer instead of Joe Smith). Doing this will save you headaches in the future. See this question and it's answers for more on that

If you follow this recommendation but want to see the time phased resource allocation of the people in the Contact field, there are 3rd party tools that will allow you to accomplish that. Here's one example

  • Thank you very much. Oct 9, 2021 at 8:29

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